Today, we have the opportunity to interview a man with whom very few people have the opportunity to converse, who has held a difficult and responsible position for many years. Clad in his red uniform, the distinctive form of Chief Guard Paton is a familiar—and imposing—sight among those working in Ascar, especially those who frequent the Royal Compound. As the most senior of the royal guards, he is most often seen accompanying Her Majesty Queen Eleanor as she goes about her duties in the city.
IC: Chief Guard Paton, many thanks for your time today. I hope you are willing to answer a few questions.
AP: If it’ll stop you from pestering me again. (Scowls). But any questions about Her Majesty and this interview is at an end.
IC: … I understand. Er, perhaps you could tell us about your background? Were you born in Ascar?
AP: Yes, my family had always lived in the city.
IC: Are you from a military family? I’m imagining generations of royal guards having a close connection with the monarchy.
AP: Not at all. Common as muck, me.
IC: So, no special training as a child?
AP: Ha, I could barely read as a youngster, but then King Frederick introduced universal education. I ended up taking evening classes while I was a regular guard in order to catch up with the fancier folks.
IC: It’s impressive that you’ve risen so far from modest beginnings. How did you work your way up to Chief Guard?
AP: I did well enough in the regulars that I was selected as a royal guard. As you might expect, my duties included accompanying King Frederick on his travels. Both in the city and on his occasional visits to outlying settlements.
IC: I see.
AP: There was an assassination attempt. The Chief Guard at the time was killed. The other guards fled.
IC: But you succeeded in defending the king.
AP (touching his eyepatch): Yes, although I… was injured.
IC: You’re a brave man, Chief Guard Paton.
AP (straightening): His Majesty thought so too. Promoted me on the spot, and I’ve been Chief Guard ever since.
IC: I wonder how different life is with Queen—I mean, do you have time for leisure pursuits?
AP: Barely. My current duties really keep me on my toes. I enjoy a bout of boxing a couple of times a week, and when I have time I like fishing in the river just outside of Ascar. That’s a rare opportunity, though.
IC: What do you think of your younger colleagues?
AP (snorts): Well, they don’t make them like they used to, do they?
IC: I suspect you may be right on that. Thank you for your time.